Construction Prices Decline Based on New ABC Analysis

November 28, 2023
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In a noteworthy development, the construction sector witnessed a significant change in October, with construction input prices experiencing a 1.2% decline monthly, as per the analysis conducted by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) using the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index. Concurrently, nonresidential construction input prices also dipped by 1.1% during the same period.

Zooming out, the broader perspective reveals that construction input prices are currently 1.1% lower compared to a year ago, with nonresidential construction input prices registering a 0.7% decrease. This trend is underscored by specific reductions in essential construction commodities, such as:

  • 2.9% fall in crude petroleum input prices
  • 1.3% fall in copper wire and cable
  • 2.3% fall in iron and steel
  • 0.3% fall in lumber and wood products

Nevertheless, natural gas prices exhibited an upward trajectory, increasing by 10.9% in October. This remains in line with a study done by AGC a few months ago highlighting the increase in diesel fuel prices. You can read more about this article in our post “Staffing Woes and Diesel Fuel Soars: A Snapshot of Construction Realities”.

Chart showing construction prices and their decline in October 2023

Chief Economist at ABC, Anirban Basu, views these developments optimistically for the majority of contractors. He points to recent Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index data, signaling a decline in inflation and hinting at a potential interest rate reduction by the Federal Reserve in the coming year. This, in turn, is anticipated to create a conducive environment for project financing, fostering an uptick in demand for construction services.

Despite these positive indicators, Basu remains cautious, pointing out that the retreat in inflation is tied to a slowing economy. Stating that potential downsides include growing consumer debt, tighter credit conditions, geopolitical uncertainties, and the impact of the federal government’s increasing debt.

How a Construction Consultant Can Protect Your Investment

While the construction industry can celebrate a reprieve in input prices, it’s essential to remain mindful of the broader economic landscape and potential challenges on the horizon. The delicate balance between positive trends and existing risks underscores the need for a vigilant approach to risk mitigation so your project remains on time and within budget. You can achieve this goal by partnering with Moran Consultants. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge, our consultants utilize their years of experience to help project stakeholders make informed decisions that optimize resource allocation and budget management.

Skilled at adapting to changing circumstances in the face of fluctuating costs and labor market dynamics, we can provide recommendations to keep your project on the right track even when external factors threaten to derail it. Interested in learning more about how we can help? Contact us online or call us at 866-545-3350 to learn how our team of consultants can help protect your investment.

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